First there was the Financial Cliff. Now we are quickly approaching the deadline for a Wireless Compliance Cliff. On October 16, 2013, the new cell phone consent rules from the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) will take effect. These rules will drastically change the telemarketing industry and possibly your organization’s marketing strategies and processes.

The TCPA rules require any organization or telemarketer that uses an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS) or an artificial or prerecorded voice (robocall) to have the prior written consent of the person they are trying to contact – this includes text messages. Much of the existing “opt in” data will not pass TCPA requirements, which means that telemarketers will need to scrub their lists of wireless numbers before initiating any outbound calls.

Violations of the TCPA are punishable by fines of up to $16,000 per individual call made in violation, so this “cliff” needs to be taken seriously. Is your organization ready?

Read here to find out more information on what the “prior written consent” needs to include and possible safe harbor exception.